UPDATED: Defending the Land Bridge

You May Have Heard…

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Citizens across San Antonio shared a vision to build a land bridge for people and animals. The people of San Antonio voted overwhelmingly to pass all parts of the City of San Antonio 2017 Bond.  The bond provides $13 million for the construction of the Land Bridge. 

The Land Bridge is estimated to cost $25 million. City staff recommended that $15 million be included in the 2017 City Bond- $7.5 million from Parks and $7.5 million from Streets, Bridges and Sidewalks. That recommendation was carried to the Bond Committees. Each committee has met several times, hearing input from members of the community about their support for the recommended projects and what other things they would like added to the bond.

The Land Bridge is considered a “City Wide” project because its benefits impact the entire city — economy, education, fitness and environment.

Somewhere along the way the Land Bridge became a target

Some committee members are moving to scrap the Land Bridge and divvy up the funds for projects in their own council districts. Already, $2 million has been relinquished from the money in the Parks portion of the bond. If any more funds are taken, the Land Bridge will not be built.

How did this happen?

There are people who have never been to Hardberger Park to appreciate what it provides for our entire city. The park’s 330 acres of woods and trails are an escape from the ever-expanding development that is consuming our natural spaces. People come from all over the city (and beyond) to relish in the green space. They take advantage of the education programs and park amenities- play grounds, basket ball courts, picnic areas, trails, dog parks — all offered for free! But you already know what a special place Hardberger Park is.


There are a lot of misconceptions about the Land Bridge

The truth is the Land Bridge will provide safe crossing for people AND animals. Animal related collisions on Wurzbach Pkwy happen frequently and that is dangerous for the people in the car as well as the animal.

The Land Bridge is huge (150’ by 150’), but its structure has been designed to minimize costs.  Its unique “saddle” design minimizes the amount of soil needed to create the natural curves of the bridge. Likewise, the ribbed support underneath the bridge reduces construction expense.

A tunnel under the bridge is not a safe or realistic option. Imagine walking alone on a trail and finding yourself facing a 150’ long tunnel.  It’s not a welcoming prospect. And constructing a tunnel would require digging up Wurzbach Pkwy, which would be much more disruptive than building the Land Bridge. A foot bridge would not protect drivers from animals on Wurzbach Pkwy.

There is no other land bridge like our Land Bridge. It is the only one with an elevated SkyWalk and the only one for people and animals. Most importantly, it is the only one being built for the people of San Antonio.

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The people of San Antonio voted a long time ago to build a land bridge at Hardberger Park.  It was a favorite feature of the park’s Master Plan. City Council also approved the plan.  The Land Bridge is the last piece needed to complete the park.  All that is needed is the money to build it.

You can help…

Members of the City Council need to hear from you that you want the Land Bridge built in Hardberger Park and that you support the City staff’s recommendation to fund the $15 million through the 2017 Bond.

And share this story to let people know what the Land Bridge is really about.  

The Conservancy is doing its part

The Conservancy has committed to raising $10 million for the Land Bridge and has $5 million so far.  If the funding from the bond disappears, private funds will also be lost. The Conservancy has also raised and spent $730,000 in the park and facilitated the donation of 18.3 acres of additional land. Meanwhile, it has invested in the ongoing design process with the hopes of having the project shovel-ready by the time the bond passes.

“Our city deserves a world class park. Hardberger Park is world class and the Land Bridge completes it. “

Phil Hardberger